Hold onto your hats, Returnal PC system requirements recommends 32GB RAM
After multiple leaks let the cat out of the bag, Sony finally confirmed at last week's Game Awards that the excellent PlayStation roguelike shooter Returnal is finally coming to PC(opens in new tab). Nice. Now, courtesy of Steam, we have the PC system requirements, and I'm sorry to say this but the recommended RAM requirement is probably going to make your eyes water.
So why is Returnal such a RAM hog? Sony didn't nail it down to anything specific, but said in the announcement(opens in new tab) that PC gamers could "rest assured that you will be faced with a cutting edge Housemarque challenge, and the bells and whistles are there to support the gameplay experience." Based on a September leak, those bells and whistles include DLSS and FSR, and quite probably ray tracing. That's all pretty hardware intensive stuff, and 32GB RAM could be helpful in making it all run nice and smooth.
Of course, it's also possible that Sony will dial the RAM requirement back to 16GB to avoid causing widespread panic or PC envy, as EA did. Returnal isn't expected to arrive on PC until sometime in early 2023, so there's still time for things to change on that front.
Returnal isn't the first PC game to recommend 32GB of RAM, but it's still a rarity. Spider-Man Remastered(opens in new tab), for instance, also recommends 32GB RAM, but only for its Ultimate Ray Tracing (4K, 60fps) graphical preset; everything else recommends 16GB. EA initially recommended 32GB for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order(opens in new tab), but eventually walked it back to 16GB. Rocketwerkz's sci-fi survival game Icarus(opens in new tab) still recommends 32GB, but not out of any real necessity: Rocketwerkz founder Dean Hall said in November 2021 that "extra RAM helps, but the game has been optimized to work without it." Icarus also recommends an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, too.
I've reached out to Sony for more information on that front and will update if I receive a reply. In the meantime, if you are tempted to make the jump to 32GB, you'll be happy to know that this is a good time to make it happen(opens in new tab).